‘Natarajan should have been awarded the Man of the Match’: Hardik Pandya


Hardik Pandya, who was awarded the Man of the Match award for his unbeaten knock of 42 runs off just 22 balls, said after the game that T Natarajan should have been the adjudged the Player of the Match, as he was the difference between a total of 194 and a 210.

Speaking at the press conference, Hardik said, “In the presentation ceremony I had said that I thought he would be Man of the Match but they say it has become a batsman’s game. But when the run rate was higher, he applied the brakes on Aussie innings. The 10-15 runs less he gave was the difference.

“The way Aussies started and where they ended — the first thing I said to everyone when we went to the dressing room was that they are 10-15 runs short and if we play normal cricket, we will win and in the end, the runs (Natarajan saved) mattered.”

Natarajan dismissed two Australian batsmen and gave away just 20 runs in his quota of four overs. The next best economy rate was 8.80 of Washington Sundar.

He sent back D’Arcy Short and Moises Henriques and was consistent with his lines and lengths and didn’t let Aussies loose when he was bowling.

Talking about what is special about the pacer from Tamil Nadu, Hardik said, “To be honest, I am impressed with him, because he is someone who keeps it simple, I like people who keep things simple and don’t complicate things too much. He is one of those, if you tell him, ‘Nattu you have to bowl yorker’, he goes and bowls a yorker, you tell him to bowl slow ball, he bowls slow ball.

“He has been fantastic. Coming from a place, he has taken on the opposition, shown character. If you keep things simple, it is for your benefit.”

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